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[personal profile] action_antihero
July 17, 2012
8:02am

Jack heads down the hallway to the interrogation rooms from the bullpen, where he'd left the memory stick in Chloe's hands. As soon as they'd arrived, he'd handed over Henderson to Security, let them handle putting him in an interrogation room. Meanwhile, he'd made a trip to Medical to check on Caiti and see Chris, and from there to the bullpen to hand over the memory stick. Despite how much he wants to know what's on it, there's not much he can do from here on in with it, though from the news she'd given him, there's a limited amount Chloe can do as well.

He can feel his stomach tightening as he nears the interrogation rooms, memories starting to come back to him that he pushes away forcefully. He needs to focus, needs to appear calm, if he's going to do convince Bill to let him interrogate Henderson. And he needs to be the one to do it. He can't take the backseat for this, despite the fact that he's not sure how much he can go through with.

Punching in the code to the observation room, he opens the door, taking a deep breath. He can do this. He just needs to focus.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Bill looks up as Jack walks in the observation room next to interrogation four. "How's Chris' sister?" he asks.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack glances at Bill, then through the one-way glass to the interrogation room, the view of the small room and the knowledge that he's going to have to go in there hitting like he hadn't expected it to. The observation room's small, but the large window into the interrogation room makes it bearable; in there he knows he's going to feel claustrophobic.

"She's okay. Henderson missed the brachial artery; she lost some blood, but not enough for her to be in any danger. She's in Medical, the doctors said she was a little dehydrated, so they want her to stay for a couple hours at least, to give her fluids and let her rest for a while." It's probably for the best, really, as he's pretty sure Chris doesn't want to be away from Caiti right now. It'll be easier for her to work, if she knows her sister is just down the hall.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Bill nods. "Do we have any idea what's on the memory stick?"

Date: 2007-06-08 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack shakes his head, his mouth thinning. "Chloe said he used an advanced encoding algorithm and a couple complicated password locks. Even with as much processor speed as she can get dedicated to this, it's going to take hours to access and decode it."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
"And whatever is on it is important, if Henderson was willing to go to all that trouble, and didn't destroy it once he had it in his possession," Bill says, stating what they're both thinking.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"It has to be something that implicates someone else. Something that he could use as leverage with us or with them, to keep himself alive."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
"Which is why you should have had backup instead of trying to get it on your own," Bill says, his voice hardening as he turns to face Jack.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack tenses; he'd been wondering when Buchanan was going to get around to that. "We couldn't involve CTU without putting Caiti in danger."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Jack if Henderson was willing to go to all that trouble, if the memory stick was so important--"

Date: 2007-06-08 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack cuts Bill off before he can finish. "If the memory stick was so important to Henderson, then to CTU it's more important than Caiti's life. Yeah, I know, Bill. I know exactly what value CTU would have put on it."

God help him, he'd made the same decisions before; this time...he couldn't do it. He can't make that decision anymore.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
"And you put her life above evidence that might help find a nuclear bomb," Bill says, hotly. He doesn't like the implication that he would have let a young woman die for the memory stick, even if he knows that he wouldn't have a choice but to give the situation a different priority than Jack had. "We would have done everything we could to get Caiti back safely, we wouldn't have just abandoned her."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack opens his mouth to argue, knowing that everything CTU could wouldn't necessarily mean making the trade. He doesn't get the chance, however, as Doyle steps in, glancing between them.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Somehow Doyle isn't surprised to see Jack when he steps into the observation room; Bauer had been all over this case from the beginning, and Doyle's learned enough about Jack to know that he's not going to step back until he's forced to.

"Is he ready?" Doyle asks, ignoring Jack, and looking at Bill.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Now it's Jack's turn to interrupt, speaking as Bill opens his mouth. "I want to do the interrogation."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
"Need I remind you, you're not an agent," Doyle says, "You're not authorized to do that."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
"Jack," Bill says hastily, physically stepping between the two men, "Let Doyle do the interrogation. You're too close to this; Henderson was your mentor, he taught you everything. You're always going to be a student to him."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"Exactly. Henderson was the first Director of Field Ops here. He wrote the book on how to conduct questioning, and a lot of what he developed is still being taught to field agents today. Look at him," Jack says, gesturing to the figure through the window, "He's relaxed and he's confident because he knows exactly what the procedures are and he's dead certain that he's still smarter than everyone in here. He's going to look down on anyone you send in there, so at least send in the person that knows him best. If I go in there he'll be overconfident and there's a good chance I can shake him up."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
"Shake him up or get revenge for what he did to your girlfriend's sister?" Doyle says. "I've read your file, Bauer, how do we know you're not going to lose your temper?"

Date: 2007-06-08 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"Because you never lose yours, like when you were interrogating my daughter?" Jack snaps back, glaring at Doyle momentarily, then looks back at Bill, his voice low and an perfectly calm. "You know me, Bill. I'm not going to deny that I'd like to get back at Henderson, but finding out about the nukes is more important than that. I've got my priorities straight."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Bill glances between the two agents, feeling a little like he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. Though as CTU director, that's not exactly an unfamiliar place. Technically Jack shouldn't be doing this interrogation--not only ishe not an official CTU agent, this is also far too personal for him--but he has a point about being the person who best knows Henderson.

"All right. Jack, you're up, but the first hint I have that you're going over the line I won't hesitate to pull you out. Doyle, get back to the floor, keep searching for the remaining cell. I want the tac teams ready to go at a moment's notice."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack watches as Doyle leaves, looking pissed but obeying nonetheless With a nod of thanks to Bill, Jack turns back to the window into the interrogation room, giving himself a moment to try and pull himself together before he heads for the door.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
The sound of the code being entered and the door opening makes Henderson look up, his expression slightly bemused when he sees Jack walk in. "Thought you'd want to do this. Have you told Kim that I'm here, yet?"

Date: 2007-06-08 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
As soon as Jack steps into the interrogation room, he can feel his heart rate speed up, that vague unsettled feeling sinking in, but he pushes it away, trying to focus. He can't afford to show weakness, not now.

He doesn't answer, knowing Henderson's trying to bait him, get under his skin. Instead, he walks over to the table, carefully, deliberately placing the files on the table, flipping one open.

"We know that the nuclear bombs in possession by the terrorists were the same ones that were delivered to Omicron for disarming. Was it you that made contact with the terrorists, or was it someone working for you?" Jack asks, coldly.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
"Miriam and I were the only ones there for her besides Chase after you faked your death, did you know that? We baby-sat Angela all the time, like we were her grandparents," Christopher replies, evenly.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"Who was it that handed the nukes over to the terrorists, Christopher?" Jack asks, raising his voice. "Dammit, you know you can get some kind of immunity if you tell us what you know, but I can't do anything for you if you don't tell me what you know."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
"I don't pull the strings, Jack, and I'm not talking," he doesn't glare, but his eyes narrow slightly. "I'm not in this for the money."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"What are you in it for, then?" Jack asks, his voice softening a little. It's not entirely feigned, not just an act to try and get Henderson to open up. Henderson knows every trick in the book; if Jack was pretending, Christopher would know it.

"Why would you risk putting Miriam through something like this; having her husband arrested under suspicion of helping terrorists?"

Date: 2007-06-08 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Christopher's lips curve into a smirk. "You're really one to be talking about hurting loved ones? After what you put your own daughter through and you should have seen Audrey at your funeral. I wonder if she knows about Christine. All this time and you still have trouble being faithful, to a woman or your country," he sneers, waiting for Jack's reaction.

Date: 2007-06-08 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Any possible desire Jack has for Christopher to somehow explain things, to prove that this hasn't been as much of a betrayal as Jack feels, even after everything he'd done to Caiti, dies a quick death. For a moment he has the thought that he's rather glad Christopher was always one of those people who couldn't be referred to as anything other than their full name, except with Miriam. He doesn't have to worry about Henderson sharing the mental connotations of the name "Chris" with the woman Jack loves.

"She knows, and she ended it first," Jack says, flatly. "Supplying terrorists with nuclear weapons to use against a civilian population; it's hard to betray your country more thoroughly than that."

Date: 2007-06-08 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
"I would never betray this country," his tone changes from amused to passionate. "You stop these little terrorist groups and think you've won battles instead of focusing on the bigger picture. No matter how many times I tried to teach you, you never learned to sacrifice anyone or anything. You could bring Miriam in here and torture her to death, and it would hurt me, and I'd hate you, but I'd never break," he leans back a little. "However, I think we've proved that if I threaten anyone connected to you, Jack, you cave, because you're not a real patriot."

Date: 2007-06-08 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack would like nothing more than to grab Henderson by the throat and slam him against the wall, but he knows Buchanan's watching this, and if he steps too far over the line he's likely to get pulled. Besides, there's part of him that knows Henderson's trying to bait him still, and that it's accusing Henderson of betrayal that got the biggest response, even as white-hot rage clouds his judgement.

"Oh, and I should take lessons on citizenship from you?" Jack asks, leaning on the table with both hands, his face just a couple feet from Christopher's. "Just what fucking picture is so big that you thought killing at least 13,000 people wasn't betraying your country? You worked with terrorists, Christopher, that's not just a betrayal, that's treason!"

Date: 2007-06-08 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Christopher doesn't blink, looking out at the double sided glass and imagining he can see Bill standing and looking back at him. So many people who don't understand the stakes.

"You might as well start the medical interrogation now because this isn't going to work," he sounds almost bored. And then he smirks again, "They found your blood in Toronto, how does it feel to know your stupid heroics put everyone in danger? I can die with a clear conscience, can you?"

Date: 2007-06-08 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
They found your blood in Toronto... For a moment, something cold seems to have a grip on his heart. Henderson has to be lying--Chloe changed the records, that blood houldn't have matched the DNA profile under his name.

But what if there was a record out there that she hadn't changed? Though if that was the case, why was it nearly a year before the Chinese found out where he was? Why didn't someone come and kill him long before that?

The thoughts hit him in a split second, before he remembers where he is, remembers who's watching him and knows he has to cover up. That he can't seem to be shocked, even if he really is.

"Where have I heard that kind of martyrdom before?" Jack asks, trying to act as though what Henderson said about Toronto isn't important. "Though guess what, no one else is going to put you up on a pedestal for it. You'll be another person responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people, and what's more you obviously don't care. Do you want to be the one to tell Miriam that? To show her the pictures of the children that are dead or dying of radiation poisoning, and that not only did you help terrorists do that, but that you don't care? That your conscience is clear?"

Date: 2007-06-08 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
It brings him no pleasure to rattle Jack, but he's heard that in the years since they worked together, he's only gotten better at getting information. Keeping him off balance is the best defense.

"Killing thousands to save millions, we all serve the greater good," he mutters, but it sounds more like he's trying to convince himself. "They're collateral damage," his voice a little stronger, but the doubt has been planted. He knows Miriam will never forgive him and out of everything he's sacrificed, her love is what he'll miss the most.

"I'm a soldier and I'll do anything for my country."

Date: 2007-06-08 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"Those people are your country!" Jack yells, leaning even closer. "Explain that to Miriam--how bombing your country somehow makes you a patriot. Explain it to her so that when you get the death penalty she'll understand. Or you can tell me why you're doing this and who you're working with and get the chance to actually do something she might approve of."

Date: 2007-06-08 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
On second thought, maybe it is personal. His jaw tightens, and for a few moments he wishes he shot Jack instead of letting him live. Killing him at this late date would create more problems than solutions.

"Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do or die," he recites. "I know she's lost to me, but that's part of the price I'm willing to pay for what needs to be done," his tone softens, getting more tired of waiting for the pain than anything else. "I told you I wasn't going to talk. I meant it."

Date: 2007-06-08 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"It's a nice quote, unless you know where it comes from. The Charge of the Light Brigade was one of the most senseless slaughters of men in history. It didn't gain anything," Jack says, turning and walking out of the room.

Buchanan looks over at him as he walks in the room, looking as though he's about to say something but Jack cuts him off. "Get Burke in there. Henderson's not going to crack without some encouragement," he says, his stomach starting to churn at the memories that even just the term 'medical interrogation' brings up.

Without a word, Jack steps out into the hall for a minute, Henderson's words about Toronto still echoing in his head.

If being inside that room and having a battle of wits with Henderson was difficult, what's coming is going to be even harder.

Date: 2007-06-08 03:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
The straps around his wrists are pulled tighter. Medical interrogation is a code word for torture and Christopher remembers the days when physical violence was enough to make people talk. Even better, using leverage, which was a nice way to refer to the not very often used practice of making the poor SOB think that their loved ones were in danger or being hurt.

He would have killed Christine Chappelle's sister if she hadn't held up her end of the bargain. It would have been more than an acceptable loss after so many deaths. The only reason why Kim and her daughter are still breathing is because he knows that Miriam loves them, and while he doesn't regret the deaths of strangers, the knowledge of how much it would hurt Miriam would weigh on him. Jack, even after being used and abused, still doesn't understand the reality of the world. Christopher is no longer Jack's teacher, and the lessons he has learned are etched on his skin and echo in his voice. In another context, he might even feel sorry for the way things worked out.

Jack could have been more than a cog in the machine, but he betrayed Christopher and Christopher has never forgotten or forgiven. If he's being honest, one of the most satisfying things about this has been imagining how Jack would feel if he ever found out the truth.

One of the medical specialists, a man with dark hair and cold eyes, stands by Christopher and checks his vitals.

He thought he'd planned for everything, but he'd forgotten that his former student is more clever than he appears.

Date: 2007-06-08 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack takes a deep breath as he enters the observation room, trying to pull himself together before facing Henderson again. He feels jittery, uncertain whether he can stand in that small room and watch someone else be tortured, but he doesn't really have a choice. He wants to see this through to the end, and he knows how to get to Henderson--if that's possible--like no one else at CTU does.

Keying in the code, he walks into the interrogation room, glancing over at Burke who's sitting next to the suitcase-style control panel. Burke nods, letting Jack know that everything's set up, and Jack looks over at Henderson, meeting his gaze. "You know what's going to happen Christopher; you know what this is going to do. This is your last chance to tell me who you're working with and get any kind of immunity."

Date: 2007-06-08 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Christopher knows the time to talk is over, this is when silence is his greatest ally. He doesn't care about immunity. The minute he steps outside of CTU, he's dead.

He stares in return, unconsciously tensing and waiting for Jack to give the signal.

Date: 2007-06-08 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Henderson's expression is enough of an answer, so Jack doesn't wait long before nodding to Burke to start, his heart starting to beat a little more rapidly. Burke presses a button on the control panel, sending two cc's of hyocine pentathol through the IV line into Henderson's arm.

Jack knows all too well how it'll start, at first just a slight tingling in the extremities, then as more and more of the drug gets passed through the bloodstream, all the nerve endings in Henderson's body will start to burn, and with every dose the pain will just get worse, until nothing else exists but the feeling that your body is being torn apart from the inside.

Watching Henderson, Jack can almost tick down the seconds to when he knows the pain will start; he's felt it before, in China. The question is which one of them is going to hold out longer.

Date: 2007-06-08 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Theory doesn't match the reality of the drug entering his body. He knew it would hurt, he had no idea the extent, and since the pain's inside his body, he can't escape through any normal technique. He knows this is just the beginning. He clenches his jaw so hard it almost cracks and wonders how bad it will get.

He won't talk. He's chosen his path, but the only thing that makes it even a little tolerable is knowing that they've promised to take care of Miriam.

He tells himself he's doing this for his King and this is nothing compared to the thousands of lives ruined to make the future better and safer.

Jack blurs in front of him as his eyes fill with involuntary tears.

Date: 2007-06-08 03:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack leans in, so that unless Henderson closes his eyes, he has to look at Jack's face. "I know what this feels like, Christopher, and it's only going to get worse. Tell me what I want to know and I'll make it stop."

Date: 2007-06-08 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Christopher looks at him, his face tight with pain, and thinks about how much he wishes their positions were switched. He knows there's no chance of escape. It's only a matter of how much abuse his body can take.

He's watching Jack, trying to breathe for a moment, and doesn't say a word.

Date: 2007-06-08 03:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"Who are you working with?" Jack asks, more loudly this time. He leans closer, though seeing the pain on Henderson's face, knowing what that feels like, the only thing he wants to do is pull away, stop it.

There's no answer, and Jack knows what he has to do, though it still takes him a moment to give the order. "Give him another dosage."

Date: 2007-06-08 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Burke nods and complies.

Christopher waits for the torment to start again and his hands curl into fists. He barely feels his nails pressing into his palm over the white hot fire moving through his body.

He wonders if this is how it felt to die in the blast and thinks that being forced to experience it in slow motion is probably a fitting punishment. Even if he was only trying to serve his country.

Date: 2007-06-08 03:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Henderson still isn't breaking, and Jack can feel his hands starting to shake. Fuck, he doesn't want to do this, but they need this information, they need to know who's behind the bombs, where they are and Henderson just won't break.

"Again," Jack says to Burke, who complies, but not before giving Jack a slightly wary look. Considering interrogations are Burke's specialty, Jack knows it's not a good look to receive.

Henderson's body tenses further, the muffled noises he's making even harder to listen to. Jack remembers all too vividly the feeling of the pain all through his body, of the taste of blood in his mouth from biting down on his lip, trying not to scream.

I can make the pain stop, Mr. Bauer, you just need to tell me what I want to know.

Jack gives the order for another dosage, his voice hoarse and a little shaky. Henderson's sweating profusely, his eyes unfocussed and his jaw clenched, and he's still holding out.

Jack pushes the table aside, barely aware of Burke jumping out of his seat. Grabbing the arms of Henderson's chair, Jack leans in, everything in his wanting to recoil, wanting to leave the room as he can feel his heart racing, his own breath starting to come in short gasps.

"Dammit, Christopher, tell me! Who are you working for?! Who did you give the bombs to?!" he yells, though now his voice is filled with desperation instead of anger, praying that Henderson will do something to stop this, because much as Jack wants to, the image of the mushroom cloud in his mind's eye won't let him.

"Give him another dose!" Jack says, turning his head toward Burke.

Date: 2007-06-08 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theredshirts.livejournal.com
Bill watches in horror as Jack gives the order, knowing before Burke replies that Henderson's body won't take much more of this. Despite Henderson being the one to be tortured, it's Jack that's cracking; he needs to end this.

Quickly striding over to the door, he punches in the keycode and yanks the door open, hurring over to Jack and grabbing his arm.

"Jack, that's enough! If you give him anymore you'll kill him. You're done," he says, tugging on Jack's arm.

Date: 2007-06-08 03:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
At the touch on his arm, Jack whips his head around, seeing Bill Buchanan looking at him with equal parts concern and horror. Yanking his arm out of Bill's grip he turns and walks out, dimly hearing Bill telling Burke to let Henderson come down from the drugs before continuing, before the conversation is cut off by the door closing behind him.

I can't do it anymore. I just can't.

There's a familiar tight feeling in his chest, a feeling of being closed in, of not being able to breathe, and he heads for the stairwell near the back of the building, hurrying past CTU personnel, ignoring their surprised, slightly fearful looks. He needs to get away from people, where they won't see him splitting apart at the seams.

He stumbles down the stairs one level, as far as he can go, then leans against the wall, one hand clutching at his chest. Gasping for breath, memories of China flashing before his eyes, the sheer panic takes him in its grip.

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